(Sacramento, CA, April 17, 2013)—The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, has passed the Assembly Education Committee by a vote of 5-2.

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Equality California, Transgender Law Center, ACLU of California, GSA Network and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, addresses the exclusion of transgender students from classes and activities, and clarifies existing anti-discrimination law to provide clear protections to transgender students.

“Every school year we receive dozens of calls on our legal helpline from the families of California students who are being excluded from school activities because they are transgender.” said Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center executive director. “Today the Education Committee acknowledged that transgender students should be treated like all other students and be given a fair chance to participate and succeed in school. On behalf of those youth and families, we are incredibly grateful for the committee’s support.”

Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network, said: “On behalf of our youth members across the state, GSA Network applauds the Assembly Education Committee for moving the School Success and Opportunity Act forward and affirming that all students, including transgender students, should have the opportunity to fully participate in and graduate from school.”

“This bill goes to the heart of the mission of our education system to provide a quality, safe education for all students, including transgender students.” said John O’Connor, Equality California executive director. “Equality California applauds the courage and leadership of Committee Chair Buchanan and all of the members who voted for this bill.”

“Today we are one step closer to ensuring transgender students are given a fair chance to learn, participate fully, succeed, and be themselves at school,” said Melissa Goodman, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of California.